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My story: “Any day without pain is a good day!”

At 32 years young, Shakir Cannon is not only on the frontline of sickle cell disease research as someone living with SCD, but also as a dedicated advocate. As he puts it, he’s not a patient of health care but rather a partner in health care. In 2015, Cannon co-founded the Minority Coalition for Precision Medicine (MCPM) “to mitigate/eliminate health disparities of minorities by expanding the awareness and use of “Precision Medicine” to increase personal health and reduce individual and government expenses in providing crucial health care.” In February 2016, Cannon was among an elite group of individuals invited to the White House to participate in the White House Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Summit to find new, ‘precise’ ways of addressing health care research.